Degrees Needed for Criminology Careers

Anyone hoping to enter one of the growing number of criminology jobs is going to need a criminal justice degree. There are very few exceptions to this rule. The U.S. prides itself on its human rights record, and part of that is how we treat criminals, suspects, and prisoners. To ensure the highest quality of criminology professionals, over the years, the hiring standards have gotten higher and higher. These days, a college degree is a nearly universal requirement. Thirty years ago, this would not have been the case, but it is now an industry standard all over the United States.

Of course, even though a college degree is usually required to work in criminology, there is a lot of latitude when it comes to exactly what of degree you'll need. For example, a lot of police departments require a degree in criminology, criminal justice, law enforcement, or some similar program of study. Some, however, only want the applicant to have a college degree; the major isn't important. They're simply looking for candidates with the intelligence, discipline, and focus it takes to earn a college degree.

Also, some jobs only require an associate's degrees, which only take two years to complete. Others will require the standard four-year bachelor's degree in order to qualify for hiring. Other criminology careers, such as social workers, may require a master's degree in order to qualify. Finally, for those who want to reach the top levels of their specialization, earning a doctoral degree is often the best way of doing so. On this website, we'll look further into the various degrees offered and required for criminology careers, so you'll have all the information you need in order to start planning for your career in criminology.

Sample Criminology Degree Path (PDF)

Last Updated: 06/03/2014


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